Wednesday, 16 September 2009

wayne madsen: balkan solution for afpak


source: Wayne Madsen

September 14, 2009

U.S. game plan for South Asia: prepare for new "Stans"

A former U.S. government expert on South Asia who spoke to WMR on the condition of anonymity, has warned that the U.S. government's initial support for Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his Pashtun minority oligarchy in Afghanistan, is doomed to Balkanize both Afghanistan and Pakistan, which also has a significant Pashtun minority.

It is noteworthy that President Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan is Richard Holbrooke, one of the primary architects of the Balkanization of Yugoslavia into seven independent states. Holbrooke is believed to be preparing the groundwork for a similar Balkanization of Afghanistan and Pakistan, a move that will have far-reaching consequences throughout Asia and the Middle East.

The expert, fluent in Urdu, the major language of Pakistan; Dari, a major language in Afghanistan, Pashto, the dominant language of Afghanistan, and Farsi, the major language of Iran, fought constantly with the neo-conservatives in the Bush administration, including the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment officials Andrew Marshall and Harold Rhode, over their unbridled backing for Karzai and his Pashtuns in the wake of 9/11. That backing, said the expert, created hostility between the United States and the other ethnic minorities in Afghanistan -- the Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Shi'a Hazaras.

What may emerge from a Balkanized Afghanistan and Pakistan are at least seven new nations, with the possibility of additional smaller statelets. When Yugoslavia was under Josip Tito, it was inconceivable at the time that seven independent nations would emerge from the nation. However, after Holbrooke and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright were finished waging their Balkans Wars and George W. Bush continued their policy,the world saw the emergence of Slovenia; Croatia; the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina - itself comprised of Bosnian Muslim, Croatian, and Serbian sub-entities; the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo.

What may emerge from the ashes of Afghanistan and Pakistan are some eight new nations, with Punjabistan in Pakistan with control of that nation's nuclear arsenal. Just as Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Ukraine came under heavy pressure from both Moscow and Washington to give up their Soviet nuclear arsenals, an independent Punjabistan, with its capital in Islamabad and nuclear weapons research center in nearby Kahuta, will be pressed hard by Washington, New Delhi, Moscow, Beijing -- and behind-the-scenes, Israel -- to do the same.

Just as map makers had a rough time keeping up with changes in Europe and central Asia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia, they may, once again, find themselves redrawing maps of South Asia.

Pashtunistan, straddling the Afghan-Pakistani border, with its capital in Kabul and second city in Peshawar, would likely emerge first with a protracted and deadly civil war, a la Yugoslavia, determining final borders with the Tajiks, Uzbeks, Hazaras, and Turkmen. Smaller statelets like Nuristan, Pashaistan, and Gilakistan may emerge from the failed state in the same manner that the small states of Montenegro and Kosovo emerged from Yugoslavia.

On the Pakistani side, Baluchistan, comprising southern Pakistan, parts of southern Afghanistan, and with irredentist designs on Iranian Baluchistan, would become independent but as a virtual vassal state of the United Arab Emirates, which has tremendous financial interest in the region. The Sindhis would see the creation of Sindhu Desh with its capital in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi. The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) would be incorporated into Pashtunistan. Gilgit-Baltistan, in the eastern Himalayas and which never considered itself part of Pakistan, could go it alone as a remote mini-state like Bhutan and the former independent Kingdom of Sikkim, on the Sino-Indian border.

That leaves Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, which could find itself up for grabs as India would seek to unite it with primarily-Muslim Jammu and Kashmir where there is an independence movement that wants to break with New Delhi and create an independent nation.

Already, the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has been caught supplying explosives to Baluci separatists in Pakistan via shipments of "humanitarian" relief supplies to Afghanistan by the Indian Border Roads Organisation. RAW has also reportedly penetrated the Sindh separatist movement in and around Karachi. Israel's Mossad is, according to some reports, assisting RAW with signals intelligence, disinformation campaigns aimed at Pakistan and its ethnic minorities, and cross-border infiltration of agents. The United States is suspected of supporting Baluchis via weapons provided by NATO-equipped fghan army elements.

The "creative destruction" policy used by Holbrooke and company in Yugoslavia may still see a future in Afghanistan and Pakistan. However, it is a future that will see bloody civil wars over control of territory and resources before the final borders are stabilized.

Once the only nuclear weapons in possession of a Muslim counry are wrested from the control of the Punjabis, the Balkanizers can be expected to look west to a country that has already been subjected to ethnic pressures from the United States and Israel -- Iran. An independent Baluchistan in Pakistan would be the first step in softening up southeastern Iran, the home to a large ethnic Baluchi minority.

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